mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Our master bathroom always contains three bathtowels, one on the top of the double rail and two on the bottom. Whenever I change the towels, I hang three; so does my husband. This weekend we found out that each of us thought the other needed two towels, and occasionally wondered why. As far as we can determine, the third towel got used only as an emergency handtowel.

Or maybe it was for the prophet Elijah, who knows.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
The Trump admin releases its list of underreported terrorist crimes.

It includes San Bernardino, the Pulse nightclub, the Berlin attack on the Christmas market... The only way those could have been more reported would have been mandatory tattoos on the backs of our retinas.

It also includes a lot of single killings in countries that never make the US news until they spontaneously explode, killing at least one US citizen.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
i sing of Olaf glad and big
whose warmest heart recoiled at war:
a conscientious object-or

his wellbelovéd colonel(trig
westpointer most succinctly bred)
took erring Olaf soon in hand;
but--though an host of overjoyed
noncoms(first knocking on the head
him)do through icy waters roll
that helplessness which others stroke
with brushes recently employed
anent this muddy toiletbowl,
while kindred intellects evoke
allegiance per blunt instruments--
Olaf(being to all intents
a corpse and wanting any rag
upon what God unto him gave)
responds,without getting annoyed
“I will not kiss your fucking flag”

straightway the silver bird looked grave
(departing hurriedly to shave)

but--though all kinds of officers
(a yearning nation’s blueeyed pride)
their passive prey did kick and curse
until for wear their clarion
voices and boots were much the worse,
and egged the firstclassprivates on
his rectum wickedly to tease
by means of skilfully applied
bayonets roasted hot with heat--
Olaf(upon what were once knees)
does almost ceaselessly repeat
“there is some shit I will not eat”

our president,being of which
assertions duly notified
threw the yellowsonofabitch
into a dungeon,where he died

Christ(of His mercy infinite)
i pray to see;and Olaf,too

preponderatingly because
unless statistics lie he was
more brave than me:more blond than you.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
(posted for future reference)

I was reading the New York Times account of "the" Mrs. Astor's daughter's wedding in 1884*. The wedding description included descriptions of all the flowers**. The front parlor held "two bunches of choice pink roses set off with the costly Farleyeuse [sic] fern." I was curious about that costly fern, so I decided to track it down . It took some doing because of the misspelling. Somewhere in the transcription and transmission process a "u" turned into an "n".

Farleyense is now known to be a cultivar rather than a species; it was discovered in Barbados in 1865. I found pictures in the Online Plant Guide. It's an exquisite thing, densely packed with leaves and with each leaf subtly shaded from green to pink tips. You can see that it would be very pretty with pink roses.

The American Journal of Horticulture and Florist's Companion v. 6 (no date) comments that it "must for many years continue to be valuable; for it can only be increased by division, and the few who have plants rather prefer to keep them intact as specimens than to tear them up for multiplication." This, together with the slow growth habit mentioned in the Online Plant Guide, would explain its rarity. I assume that the ferns mentioned in the wedding notice must have been in pots surrounding the cut roses.

* "The" Mrs. Aster was Caroline Schermerhorn Astor, who came from an old Dutch family, then the highest society in New York, and married into the then-upstart new-money Astors. She was the lady whose associate, Ward McAllister, coined the idea of the 400, the most elite people in New York. 400, not so coincidentally, was the number of people her ballroom accommodated.

** The reporter lays emphasis on the expensiveness of the flowers: "Palms and ferns and creeping plants, roses and orchids, lilies and violets, carnations and marguerites, filled every part of the house..." The wedding was in mid-November, so the garden plants listed would have been out of season. Carnations used to be one of the most expensive of flowers rather than, as now, one of the cheapest. I wonder what changed in cultivation.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
If you are living in the U.S. and if you hold anything other than a U.S. passport -- this includes if you hold a green card -- do not leave the U.S. right now. Period. People with legitimate green cards are being refused entry at the borders. People who were unfortunate enough to be travelling at the time Trump (spit) issued his order can't get back home. Students with student visas are not being allowed to return to class. Homeland Security has confirmed this.

It looks like Trump's order is illegal according to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. That doesn't matter right now; any court challenge will take time.

Stay in the U.S. until this is resolved. And I apologize to you. This is appalling.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I was just linked to this short British film intended to scare children away from unsafe swimming/play areas. Holy shit.

Baby steps

Jan. 26th, 2017 09:58 am
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Couldn't reach DiFi (as usual); did reach Kamala Harris's office. They said she's opposing Sessions and "Hopefully that will make you proud." It does.

As one tiny step forward, added all DiFi's, Harris's, and my Rep's numbers to my phone contacts and pinned them. Next time I won't have to look them up.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Tumblr post with pictures.

That pan is getting retired. Amazingly badly designed.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I've now called three of Dianne Feinstein's offices (Washington, SF, Fresno), and all of them are either busy or voicemail. I was calling to oppose Sessions, but I think the population is restless.

I also called Kamala Harris, and left her voicemail.

Lemon cake now.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I couldn't remember what lussekattar (lussebullar) recipe I used last time, so I clicked through on Saveur's.

For 32 buns, you used two teaspoons of saffron. I have never had two whole teaspoons of saffron in my house at any time in my entire life. Boggle.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
The pussy hats are obviously making people very happy and being worn with defiance.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
The Washington Post has announced their new "experimental, visually-driven product"> aimed at millennial women, The Lily.

When I think of the symbolism of lilies, I think of the Aesthetics -- "Though the Philistines may jostle, you will rank as an apostle in the high aesthetic band, If you walk down Piccadilly with a poppy or a lily in your medieval hand" -- something Wilde actually did IIRC. I also think of Victorian purity culture, with the untouched lily contrasted with the full-blown rose. I think of Georgia O'Keefe, no clarification necessary. I think of Leonard Cohen -- "In the cave at the tip of the lily".

In short, it's both weirdly old-fashioned and weirdly pornographic. As, I suppose, am I.

In other great news, The Lily is only available on Medium, Facebook and Instagram.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Need to read old handwriting? Check out BYU's "Script Tutorial", https://script.byu.edu/Pages/home.aspx . " The tutorials and​ materials gathe​red here are meant to help a varie​ty of people – students, researchers, historians, genealogists, and indexers – learn more about old scripts and how to make use of that knowle​dge to analyze and int​erpret the past. The concentration is on western European scripts, particularly those in use between 1500 and 1800. "

I found it when Googling; I dimly remembered that Germans wrote the number "1" in an unusual way. Here's where I wound up:
https://script.byu.edu/Pages/German/en/numbers-script.aspx

Not only does it describe what the number looks like, it has an animation of the number being written.

God, I love living in the future.

Heh

Jan. 16th, 2017 09:22 am
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Called my awesome Rep, Jackie Speier, to request she stand with John Lewis and boycott the Inauguration. It's a Federal holiday (Martin Luther King Day), so the office is closed. This is not surprising. What is surprising is that at 12:20 Washington time, the voicemail box is already full.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Those "pussy hats" are unbelievably hideous and completely unsuitable for donation to charity, or for any use.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
(warning: this is personal in the extreme.)

After the election, I've seen a lot of hand-wringing about how the urban elites just don't understand rural America -- often, regrettably, phrased as "the real America", buttressed by zillions of interviews with small-town Trump voters expressing their rage and frustration with the people in the cities, especially the coastal cities.

Some of this is by conservative elites wanting to punish liberals; others are by earnest liberals wanting to know Where We Went Wrong.

Here's the thing. A lot of us city people got there after growing up rural. A lot of us know quite well what small-town and rural life is, and we rejected it. A lot of rural communities are hollowed out because the kids don't stay. Sometimes it's no jobs; other times it's "how you gonna keep 'em down on the farm."

Four out of five Americans live in urbanized areas. 80% of us. That sounds pretty damn real to me.

The urban elite reporters ought to be doing a few stories about "I interviewed N people in a working-class neighborhood of a city, and here's what they had to say about how they voted." That's just as representative of "ordinary Americans" as the people in a hollowed-out coal town.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I asked for Gérôme's painting, Suites d'un bal masqué (Duel after a Masquerade). Take a second and look at it. Isn't that a gorgeous painting? Not just the implied story, but the masterful use of color.

I got an excellent short story divided into splinters, with each of the various witnesses preoccupied with their own concerns. The characterization of the witnesses is wonderful: each of them leaps off the page. This is a pictorial work, so the author created all those characters from scratch. The period detail is amazing, and the way that the final witness, resentfully, tells his own story wraps the splinters back together. And there are footnotes! My Yuletide has footnotes for further reading! SQUEEEEEE.

L'Abécédaire d'un duel

I also got a Madness drabble, a perfect pendant to the painting, that takes one telling detail and uses it as commentary.
Gunpowder

Happy Yuletide to me, and to all of you!


mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I have a migraine so severe that I can't concentrate well enough to read my delicious Yuletide gift. Bah, humbug.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
--- electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
    A world of made
is not a world of born --- pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if --- listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go

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